The Milwaukee Bucks didn’t waste any time, effort or use of their imagination when they hired former Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew as their new head coach.
“After a thorough search and interview process, it was clear to us that Larry’s track record in Atlanta, along with his experience as an assistant coach and player, make him the right choice to lead our club,” Bucks general manager John Hammond said in a statement. “We look forward to what he will bring this franchise, and we welcome him and his family to Milwaukee.”
He is still under contract in Atlanta until July 1, but the current GM (Danny Ferry) informed Drew that he was going to bring in his own guy (who is Mike Budenholzer)
Drew is considered a defensive-oriented coach that lacks in offensive schemes. He is not a bad coach; his players respect him and the Hawks did make the playoffs. His Hawks team went 128-102 under his three-year span and 10-14 in the playoffs.
Larry Drew was drafted in the first round (17th overall) by the Detroit Pistons in 1980. He also played for the KC/Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers. His best year as a professional came during the 1982–83 season as a member of the Kings, appearing in 75 games and averaging 20.1 points, 8.1 assists and 1.7 steals per contest.
Drew served as an assistant coach for the Lakers, Pistons, Washington Wizards, New Jersey Nets, and Atlanata Hawks.
My Two-Cents: Because the Bucks are a small market team, I thought it would be in their best interest to try to make a splash and get quality veteran coach that can change the culture of the team and when I heard the name Larry Drew I thought….VANILLA. The Bucks didn’t get the “most wanted” head coach that would help persuade point guard Brandon Jennings to stay in Milwaukee; but as I did a little research on Drew, my mind might have changed a little bit.
Drew, 55, spent the past three seasons as head coach of the Hawks. He led the franchise to the playoffs in each season with a vastly different roster. He had a 128-102 (.557) regular-season record and reached 100 wins the second-earliest among coaches in Hawks history (173 games). Only Lenny Wilkens (166) reached the mark in fewer games.
Larry Drew has the potential increase the Bucks’ winning ways (even though the Bucks made the playoffs they finished under .500 and was swept by the Miami Heat in the first round). He has to have the players in order to do this. The Bucks have some young talent to use as a nucleus in Larry Sanders, Brandon Jennings, J.J. Redick, Monta Ellis and John Henson. Redick, Mike Dunleavy and Samuel Dalembert are unrestricted free agents and Brandon Jennings is a restricted free agent; Ellis has until June 20 to exercise an $11M player option.
Even though they are a small market team and have trap money tied into Drew Gooden and Ersan Ilyasova it is going to be hard to keep most of the free agents, so they have to set a plan to keep two or three quality players who will go with the system and work from there. Drew has to win his star players and everything will look lovely for the Bucks organization.